North-West Labour MEP Arlene McCarthy has announced today that she will not contest the 2014 European elections. McCarthy said that after 20 years as an MEP, she has decided that the time is now right to move on from the European Parliament. McCarthy said in a statement:
“This has been a very difficult decision to make but I know it is the right time for me to move on and use my experience and energy to take on new challenges.”
“We have a first class team of candidates and I will be giving my full support to Theresa Griffin who will now lead our European team into the elections.”
Labour’s leader in the European Parliament Glenis Willmott praised McCarthy, sand said that she will be “a big loss to Labour’s team in the European Parliament”.
McCarthy’s decision to step down means that Labour’s candidate list for the North West now looks like this:
- GRIFFIN, Theresa
- KHAN, Afzal
- WARD, Julie
- KHAN, Wajid
- STOGIA, Angeliki
- CARTER, Steve
- LAMB, Pascale
Although there has been much praise for McCarthy today, it’s less than ideal for the party to have lost a sitting MEP and lead candidate for a region only a matter of months before the EU elections take place. Labour is still well placed to do well in the North West – but questions are already being asked internally as to why McCarthy decided to step down relatively late in the process, especially considering the long and sometimes controversial selection process for MEPs.